Shimizu prepares to enter ‘Labyrinth’

'Grudge' director to shoot first pic in three years

TOKYO — Horror maestro Takashi Shimizu, helmer of “The Grudge” series, including the two U.S. remakes, has starting shooting his first feature pic in three years, “The Shock Labyrinth,” distrib Asmik Ace Entertainment announced on Wednesday.

Skedded for an October 2009 bow in Japan, the pic stars Matsuo Suzuki, Misako Renbutsu, Ryo Katsuji, Ai Maeda, Erina Mizuno and Yuya Yagira, winner of the Cannes best actor prize in 2004 for his work in Hirokazu Koreeda’s “Nobody Knows.”

The story, based on a popular spook house attraction at the Fuji-Q High Land amusement park near Mt. Fuji, follows a group of teenagers who take a fainting friend to an old hospital — that turns out to be a horrific labyrinth.

The pic, produced by Asmik Ace’s Masayuki Tanishima and Dai Miyazaki, together with talent shop Ogura Jimusyo’s Satoru Ogura, is the first in Japan to be shot in digital 3-D. Shimizu is filming in the actual attraction, which is billed at the world’s “longest horror house walk-through.”

Asmik Ace is handling international sales, as well as domestic distribution.

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